7 Sep 2016
Dr Janti Shah graduated in Medicine at Birmingham University in 1961. After completing his preregistration house jobs, he took up a post in anaesthetics as a taster. After a while he found anaesthetics an interesting speciality and pursued his career in it. Most of his early years in anaesthetics involved learning from observation and from books. In 1968 he took up a registrar post in a teaching hospital where he completed his anaesthetic training in cardiovascular and neurosurgical anaesthetics. Later under the guidance of Dr Selwyn Crawford he learnt the technique of epidural anaesthesia for relief of labour pain. He developed an interest in making epidural anaesthesia safer by devising tests for correct placement of the epidural catheter and diagnosing unrecognised dural taps. He has published several papers on epidural anaesthesia and obtained his MD in 1996 from Birmingham University.
1. Always allow time to see the patient pre- and post-operatively
2. Question techniques you have been taught and learnt. They can be modified and improved. (e.g. – test for epidural catheter placement).
3. Keep detailed records of unusual and rare events. They may not be so rare. (e.g. unrecognised Dural taps).
4. Don’t panic when things go wrong.
5. Remember that complications may manifest late and after the patient has left the hospital. (e.g. pressure sores on heels are often detected a few days after the initial damage when the patient has left the hospital).